Hiding in Plain Sight

If you haven’t seen this bit from John Oliver’s new show, you should.  You should watch it before Tuesday’s election, and then again periodically, just so you remember what I keep telling you.  That elections matter.  And that it is important to pay attention to not just Federal elections, but to the ones lower down the food chain.

Apparently it takes someone from England, from the country from which we declared our independence, to explain to us just how we are letting our own government get away from us.

Because we don’t pay attention to “the unimportant levels of government.”

Ummm, it is at the state level that we’re really getting screwed.  I can attest to this as a resident of “Virginia is For Ultra-sounds.”    Yup, it is the folks whose names we don’t even know, who get to decide these issues that most impact your life and mine.

They are also the ones gerrymandering the US Congressional districts.  They are eliminating access to abortion, to birth control and screwing us in a hundred different ways.  And the state legislatures are the breeding ground, where the Not Ready For Prime Time Players go until they become the Michelle Bachmann’s and the Louie Gomert’s who end up framing our national debate.

[I read recently that John Oliver has been proclaimed the best journalist currently working.  I don’t recall who said it, but I think they are right.]

86 Comments

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86 responses to “Hiding in Plain Sight

  1. I haven’t watched the clip yet, but I will. It’s kind of amazing how few people I know actually voted yesterday. And it shows, because all the same stupid people are back in office.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it shows — and not nicely. We have many of the same stupid people back in office, and many even stupider ones newly enthroned. Such a sickening outcome. It was the over 65s who chose this for us all. Not really a demographic looking to much of a future.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. PsiFiGal

    Reblogged this on Dear Diary and commented:
    Elyse at https://fiftyfourandahalf.com/ posted this, it’s not too late to vote!

    Like

  3. PsiFiGal

    Here in Oregon there’s a measure on the ballot that would require genetically modified organisms (foods) to be labeled so that consumers could know what they are eating. I hope it passes. There was a LOT of money spent on ads that were against it, big agro-businesses and lobbyists are behind them I’m sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. John Oliver is the man. I love watching his show.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You’re so right. What happens at the local level is what drives our everyday lives. But I don’t want anybody “getting out the vote,” frankly. I wish only people who cared, who actually take the time to do some homework on the issues would vote.

    Like

    • That is a terrible shame, ghough. Because the folks who DO pay attention are sticking us with folks who don’t vote the way the majority of people in there states believe. That is what is getting our government so damn polarized. Fanatics, and there are more and more of them, never compromise. And comprlmise is the key to getting stuff done.

      So i guess we just need more people to jnderstand the value. (Fat chaance, though)

      Like

  6. Today’s the day. I’ve had little sleep thanks to a late arrival home last night, but I’ll be voting nonetheless. If I’m lucky, the center where I vote (a nursing home) will have their usual Election Day bake sale. I can munch on pumpkin bread while I wait in line…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. John Oliver is great. This video is great. Why, then, am I so very heart sick? Oh, I know why. I’m an American who cares what happens. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ohio has all state offices up, but only one may lose … and given the GOP controlled legislature, Ohio will be a news headline in the next four years. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Well, I’m crossing my fingers for some rational thought and participation in the mid-terms. We currently have neither of either in our political process here just north of the border. But I always have hope!

    John Oliver is flippin hilarious, and bang-on so often. Ever watch Community? That’s where I first saw him, he was amazing as the drunken brit prof – disappeared for a few seasons, but then came back. He’s awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I had no idea John Oliver had his own show! Off to set my DVR….and yes, right after that I’ll be voting with my 80-year-old mother. I can’t wait to hear her voting in the booth next to me yelling “Take that Paul LeJerk!”

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Paul

    Fascinating Elyse. Awesome post and amazing video. I had no idea that over 1,000 officials run unopposed. That is mind blowing. I thought the big problem was getting people out to vote – not getting people out to run. That’s even scarier – a paying job in this time of austerity, benefits, expense account, authority, and on and on – and politicians are so hated that no one even applies. Yikes! And Yikes!

    As an outsider looking in, it has always been apparent (and we were even taught this in American history) that your country is not called the United States without a reason – it is composed primarily of states that are united. The key point here being that the primary American political unit is the State.

    Which means the most fun and the scariest threat to democracy is the State. In any structured human activity, the very essence of that activity (democracy=state in the US) is also it’s most likely down fall. This also applies to a lot of the ohysical world as well. For instance take a dinner plate. It’s structure makes it very strong when struck edge on – the force is spread evenly over the entire plate and it is hard to break (you can try this at home) That same structure – the one that makes it so strong -also provides the easiest way to destroy the plate – strike it face on (i.e. hit the plate flat on the edge of a counter or table) and it will shatter with a miniscule amount of effort.

    The moral of tthe story is a as you have been preaching Elyse – vote or lose democracy. The voter provides the strength (and literally the definition)of the democratic system – and it also provides the potential death of the same system. Right here and right now – as it does every time there is a vote.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your plate analogy is pretty apt, Paul. And equally scary

      Sadly, we havevjust stopped paying attention to local stuff — or to the folks who DO pay attention to the moore mundane issues. And sadly, i don’t see any change on the horizon. John Oliver’s use of humor needs to come out earlier in this process!

      Like

  12. I usually chose to partake of Early Voting, but this year, circumstances didn’t allow for that, so now I’ll be stuck standing in line (I hope) tomorrow. Not sure which is worse – to be stuck standing in line, or to breeze right through because no one cares enough to get out and vote.

    I’ll be the first to admit that for many years, I focused more on the national elections than the local elections, until I finally began to see (with horror) how my local good ole guys kept finding their way to Washington. Not only that, but once that ball starts gathering motion, it can be truly difficult to slow their roll. I just wish more Americans weren’t lulled into complacency by distrust, apathy, time management issues, or just plain indifference and laziness. I’m no poster child, nor do I pretend to be, but I do hobble on out there with my walker, stand in line, and at least go through the motions. Casting my ballot is the very least I can do to try to stop the insanity.

    Liked by 1 person

    • just watched the video — winner, winner, chicken dinner

      thanks for sharing the video 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • I do hatevthat roll — unhampered from statehouses to the Capitol. It is horrible because we don’tbpay enough attention at that level. Years sgo, John helped me see that the school board is where you need to begin your vigilence. Because that’s really wherevthey start — especially in Tx (and now VA where religious fanatic have infiltrated).

      Hope your wait is enough to show there is enthusiasm but not too long!

      Like

  13. I miss seeing him on the Daily Show! Thanks for the link. Fingers crossed for tomorrow but I’m a bit worried. (Btw, you have very smart followers!).

    Liked by 1 person

    • I DO have the best followers — they all are on my wave-length, so I am usually preaching to the choir, though! C’est la vie.

      I miss John Oliver on the Daily Show , too. But he is doing great things with this show. And unlike most HBO things, these clips are available on YouTube. It must be a public service!

      Like

  14. People need to be careful and investigate who they’re voting for because a lot of people in the Government are complete liars and will tell you what you want to hear. Great write!

    Like

  15. Yep, watched it today. Scary stuff, that. ALWAYS vote, and ALWAYS pay attention. You DO matter if you make the effort!

    Like

  16. NotAPunkRocker

    OK, I have to find this show. I love John Oliver but I must have been living under a rock to have missed that he has a show now.

    Like

    • It is on HBO, which sucks. But it is usually reported on one of my favorite librul blogs — TalkingPointsMemo.com. And it is also on YouTube. So those rocks are crumbling!

      Like

  17. Reblogged this on Berna's Vibe~The Way I See IT…. and commented:
    REblogged by Berna from the FiftyFourandAHALF blog site .. Whether you’ve early voted or will VOTE tomorrow this is a piece well worth watching ! Get out the vote & VOTE

    Like

  18. Love this guy, I think he is likely the smartest one out there. Thanks for this one, I missed it.

    Like

    • Glad to share it with you, Val. One of the things I like about his show is that he focuses on one issue per show — brilliantly! I’m sure your fingernails look more or less like mine today!

      Like

  19. Wow, I’ve been watching him from time to time and missed this one . Excellent piece to re blog on the eve of the elections . As always thanks for sharing !

    Liked by 1 person

  20. If people would just watch the Daily Show, the Colbert Report, and this show, and not watch Fox news, we would all be better off.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. JSD

    I vote early tomorrow and be lad when all the bull shit, mud-slinging, name-calling, lying ads have stopped!!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Can’t wait to cast my vote for Tom Wolf (running for governor in Pennsylvania). Wolf might be the only good news for the Dems tomorrow.

    Like

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